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First Nations in the Twenty-First Century Essay

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Updated: Jun 11th, 2019

The chapter under analysis refers to the problem of inherent rights of First Nations to self-government of their territories. Their request for self-regulation is predetermined their authentic right as Creators who had lived on the territory of Canada long before the newcomers arrived. For the First Nations population, the concept of self-government is closely associated with self-determination, as well as the strategy for controlling their lives, recognizing their social position in society, and managing their affaires freely.

The right to self-government encounters a number of challenges. To begin with, First Nations withdraw the possibility to regulating their economic and financial activities at a municipal level due to the absence of constitutional ground. Besides, the larger society is skeptical about the transparency and accountability of the aboriginal population.

Therefore, the government restricts Native people’s authority on the reserved territories. As an alternative, the Liberal government has issued the official recognition of the right to self-government for the aboriginal people to govern the territory without constitutional intrusion.

A number of other arrangements related to the case have been concluded to consider the problem. However, the issues of self-government and inherent rights of the First Nations are still on the current agenda due to moral, ethical, and political challenges.

Debates on inherent rights of a First Nation people relate to the concept of inborn rights of aboriginals to sovereignty and independence from the newcomers’ government. The problem is that the Canadian government does not have appropriate legislature protecting the authority of Fist Nation self-government.

Incompatibility of aboriginal rights with Constitution contradictions the overall concept of human rights to freedom and equality. This is of particular concern to the inherent right of aboriginal population to self-govern their territories. Apart from legal constraints, the case touches on a number of moral and ethical challenges.

In particular, the reluctance of the Canadian population to accept the authority of aboriginal population premises on the impossibility to realize their identity and connection to their land. In order to approve these actions, the Court approaches these dilemmas in different ways. One of the approaches focuses on free-standing Aboriginal rights, which requires the First Nation people to submit irrefutable proof of their right to govern, which had previously been withdrawn.

Connecting rights with treaties is another approach to tackling the point. Under these conditions, there should be historic document recognizing the right of the First Nation to self-government. Finally, the residual sovereignty is another approach to treating the problem, which implies that the Aboriginal rights could be reduced as a result of the colonization process and conquering of lands by the European invaders.

The idea of self-government is also highlighted in the chapter. In this part, the author focuses primarily on the definition and significance of self-regulation for the First Nations. In particular, unlike the generally accepted definition, aboriginal population do not expect the Canadian Constitution to adopt the corresponding law that would respect their rights.

Rather, self-government searches for greater possibility for self-determination and development, which is the right of all citizens living in Canada. Suppression and inequality in decision-making and regulation, therefore, is the major constrain that should be surpassed.


With regard to the above-presented information, aboriginal people do not strive to gain dominance and power in their territories. Rather, their major purpose consists in achieving official recognition of their inherent and original rights to self-government and determination.

These official rights should not necessarily imply written confirmation because governmental issues could be considered on the basis of mutual cooperation between the newcomers and the indigenous population.

Multiple research studies conducted by the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2012) have approved the fact that “effective governance is the single greatest contributing factor to a community’s socio-economic progress and its overall well-being” (n. p.).

The main premises of efficient governance involve greater control of decision-making process that affects living standards, effective cooperation between governments, new opportunities for economic development, presence of programs and services, and monitoring of economic and social welfare of the aboriginal population. The proposed policies approve the intent of the First Nation people to receive the right to self-government.

Despite the fact that the rights of aboriginal people should be respected and considered by the Canadian government, transparency issue should not be ignored either. In particular, the aboriginal governmental organizations, including funds and financial establishments, should adhere to the standards of transparent reporting accepted by the state’s authorities. In such a manner, the principle of social equality and ethical standards will be followed.

Equality of rights of the Indian population and non-Native Canadians should be taken into the deepest consideration to manage frictions and conflicts caused by the pressure on the part of the Canadian government. Under these circumstances, integration of Indian population into Canadian society could be reasonable, beneficial, and efficient.

According to the report issues by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, “ending the Indian branch’s power to determine band membership; continuing the taxation exemption…hiring more Indians in administrative capacities; empowering band councils to act a local government” should be the primary goals of the state’s authorities to reconcile the conflicts (Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, 1996, p. 284). Fulfilling these requirements can contribute greatly to the successful integration of indigenous people to the Canadian society.

Despite the fact that Aboriginal’s rights to self-government should be respected, the agreement should not be one-sided. Rather, the Indian tribes should also express respect for the Canadian society and non-native residents (Frideres, 1996). Fruitful cooperation between the representatives of two different people can promote greater understanding, as well as improve the overall social and economic situation in the country. More importantly, there should be no case of power abuse on the part of both native and non-native population, which excludes the dominance of one group over another.

As a Native Child and Family Service workers, the significance of social, cultural, and political issues should be a priority for me to handle all inconsistencies and conflicts properly. From a social and cultural perspective, I should pay particular attention to cultural heritage and social background of First Nations people while delivering specific training programs.

Deeper understanding of the indigenous people’s moral and cultural virtues is possible through greater awareness of cultural knowledge and experience. Recognizing the right to self-determination should also be among the priorities observed by a social worker.

Finally, as a NCFS, I need to exclude prejudiced attitudes to the Indian tribes to be able to conceive their rights and freedoms that are equal to those enjoyed by the non-native residents. In such a manner, the Canadian government can enhance its reputation and influence positive cultural development.


Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2012). Governance. Retrieved from

Frideres, J. S. (1996). The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples: The Route to Self-Government? Department of Sociology.2, 248-266. Web.

Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People (1996). Indian Act. Retrieved from

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